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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Beware of loans from China - IMF warns Nigeria and other developing countries

The International Monetary Fund has cautioned Nigeria and other developing countries from taking loans from China due to unfavourable loan conditions.

The Financial Counsellor and Director of the Monetary and Capital Markets Department of the IMF, Tobias Adrian, said this on Wednesday during the launch of the Global Financial Stability Report for April 2019 at the IMF/World Bank meetings in Washington D.C.

“Capital flows, which includes capital flows from China, are, of course, important for development. On the other hand, what is very important in lending arrangements are the terms of the loans and we urge countries to make sure that when they borrow from abroad, the terms are favourable. In particular, we recommend that loans to countries should conform with Paris Club arrangements and that is not always the case of loans from China,” Adrian said.

On Nigeria’s rising debt levels, Adrian said that the IMF was not overly concerned, as it would allow the country to invest more in developing critical infrastructure.

“At the moment, funding conditions in economies such as Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries are very favourable but that may change at some point,” he said. The April 2019 Global Financial Stability Report finds that in spite of significant variability over the past two quarters, financial conditions remained accommodative.

As a result, financial vulnerabilities have continued to build in the sovereign, corporate, and non bank financial sectors in several systemically important countries, leading to elevated medium-term risks. Also, the IMF in the April 2019 Fiscal Monitor Report urged Nigeria to increase Value Added Tax, increase and expand the coverage of excise duties.

The IMF commended the country’s latest Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative, which looks at a comprehensive approach to tax reform.

Snoop Dogg cuddles his granddaughter in adorable new photo

Snoop Dogg is proud about being a grandfather and you can tell he takes this role seriously.

The rapper shared a photo of himself cuddling his granddaughter and captioned it, "Grandpa and granddaughter."

Crenshaw and Slauson intersection will be named "Nipsey Hussle Square" in honour of the slain rapper

The Los Angeles City Council is expected to rename the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue to "Nipsey Hussle Square."

Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson said he will officially submit a motion on Friday to change the name of the South L.A. intersection in honour of the slain rapper.

Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson tweeted: "This week, I will officially submit a motion to name the intersection of #Crenshaw and #Slauson as "Nipsey Hussle Square". #NipseyHussle".

Nipsey Hussle, whose real name is Ermias Asghedom, had a song called "Crenshaw and Slauson (True Story)". The video for the song features real people from the Crenshaw neighborhood, where Nipsey Hussle grew up. His store, Marathon Clothing, where he was shot, is also located at this intersection.

The call to change the name began with fans of the rapper. They started a petition to urge the city council to submit the motion. So far, the petition has nearly reached its goal of 500,000 signatures, and got the councilman's attention.

Trial of former PDP chairman adjourned till June 5

Justice A.R. Mohammed of a Federal High Court, Abuja has adjourned the trial of a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Haliru Bello and his son, Bello Abba Mohammed to June 5, 2019 for continuation of trial.

Bello, his son, Mohammed and their company, Bam Projects and Properties Limited are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly receiving the sum of N300 million from the office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.). They are facing a four-count charge bordering on money laundering.

One of the charges reads: “‎That you, Bello Abba Mohammed, Bam Projects and Properties Ltd and Dr. Haliru Bello on or about 17th March 2015 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, took possession of the sum of N300 million paid into the account of BAM Projects and Properties Limited with Sterling Bank Plc from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser with the CBN when you reasonably ought to have known that the said fund formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity of Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd), the then National Security Adviser (to wit: criminal breach of trust and corruption) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under Section (15) (3) of the same Act."

At the resumed hearing on April 10, 2019 the prosecuting counsel, O.A. Atolagbe informed the court that the prosecution was ready with its witnesses, but that he received a call from the defence team that the defence counsel, Solomon Umeh, SAN, will not be in court for the day's proceeding.

"I was informed that he is at the Court of Appeal, Jos and could not be able to make it, here," he said.

Meanwhile, Barth Ogar, counsel for Bello, applied for medical leave on behalf of his client to enable him attend to his health between April and May. The prosecution raised no objections, but urged the court to grant the application on the condition that the defendant will make himself available on the next adjourned date.

The court then mandated Bello to file an affidavit stating that he will be available for trial.

Ogun police burst child theft syndicate, recover three missing children

The Ogun state police command have arrested three suspected members of a notorious child theft syndicate. Their alleged leader is a woman who is currently serving her time in an Ondo prison for another case of child theft.

A statement released by the police command spokes person, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, says the syndicate's modus operandi was to carry out a surveillance of areas where their age-target of children were concentrated, following which, two members of the syndicate, a man and a woman, would pretend as a married couple in search of an apartment. Nobody would ever suspect them to be kidnappers. They would deceive the unsuspecting members of the society and then kidnap these children successfully.

Three out of the eight stolen children have been recovered and united with their parents, while efforts were said to be on to get the remaining five from the strong-hold of the thieves.

"Operatives of the Anti-kidnapping/Cultist Unit, who were mandated to track the syndicate, embarked on a high technical investigation, which paid off with the tracking of the group leader, one Mary Paul, in an Ondo prison. Through synergy with Ondo Police Command, relevant information was extracted, leading to the arrest of three members of the gang, who actively participated in the theft of eight children across the State", the statement revealed.

According to the release, investigation further revealed that the victims, stolen from different locations in the state, were sold to their prospective buyers in Anambra State.

Oyeyemi gave the names of the suspects as Kate Njoku (F); Joy Okorie (F) and Onyeka Joseph (M), stating that one of the recovered children, Temidayo Ajayi, was abducted with his brother in Sagamu in July 2018.

According to the PPRO, the said Temidayo's brother was still being sought for by the Police, adding that the suspects had all made useful statements to the Police on how they perpetrated the wicked act.

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